Words of Wisdom (WOW)

Edited selections from The Noble Eight Fold Path, The Dhammapada, and The Tao Te Ching.     September 22, 2018

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The Noble Eight Fold Path
1. Right view. Clear one's path from confusion, misunderstanding, and deluded thinking. Gain right understanding of reality.
2. Right intention. Being resolved on renunciation, on freedom from ill will, on harmlessness.
3. Right speach. Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, and from idle chatter.
4. Right action. Abstaining from killing, abstaining from stealing, abstaining from sexual misconduct.
5. Right livelihood. Avoid causing suffering to sentient beings by cheating, harming or killing. Do not trade in weapons, living beings, meat, alcoholic drink or poison.
6. Right effort. Strive to prevent the arising of evil and unwholesome mental states that have not yet arisen. Strive to eliminate evil and unwholesome mental states that have already arisen. Strive to generate wholesome mental states that have not yet arisen. Strive to maintain wholesome mental states that have already arisen, to keep them free of delusion, to develop, increase, cultivate, and perfect them.
7. Right mindfulness. Having put aside worldly desire and sadness; contemplate the body as body; contemplate feelings as feelings; contemplate mental states as mental states; contemplate mental objects as mental objects, always resolute, aware and mindful.
8. Right concentration. A one-pointedness of mind. A state of awareness without any object or subject and ultimately unto nothingness and emptiness.

The Dhammapada
1. Mind precedes its objects. They are mind-governed and mind-made. To speak or act with a defiled mind is to draw pain after oneself, like a wheel behind the feet of the animal drawing it.
2. Mind precedes its objects. They are mind-governed and mind-made. To speak or act with a peaceful mind, is to draw happiness after oneself, like an inseparable shadow.
3. I have been insulted! I have been hurt! I have been beaten! I have been robbed! Anger does not cease in those who harbour this sort of thought.
4. I have been insulted! I have been hurt! I have been beaten! I have been robbed! Anger ceases in those who do not harbour this sort of thought.
5. Occasions of hatred are certainly never settled by hatred. They are settled by freedom from hatred. This is the eternal law.
6. Others may not understand that we must practice self-control, but quarrelling dies away in those who understand this fact.
7. The Tempter masters the lazy, irresolute, ungoverned in senses, and unrestrained in food, like the wind overcomes a rotten tree.
8. But the Tempter cannot master the those self-controlled in senses, moderate in eating, and resolute, like the wind cannot move a mountain crag.
11. To see the essence in the unessential and to see the essence as unessential means one can never get to the essence, wandering as one is in the road of wrong intentions.
12. But to see the essence in the essential and the unessential as the unessential it is, means one does get to the essence, being on the road of right intentions.
13. In the same way that rain breaks into a house with a bad roof, desire breaks into the mind that has not been practising meditation.
14. While in the same way that rain cannot break into a well-roofed house, desire cannot break into a mind that has been practising meditation well.
15. Here and beyond the wrong-doer suffers. The wrong-doer suffers both ways. The wrong-doer suffers and is tormented to see their own depraved behaviour.
16. Here and beyond the doer of good is glad. The doer of good is glad both ways. The doer of good is glad and rejoices to see their own good deeds.
17. Here and beyond the wrong-doer is punished. The wrong-doer is punished both ways. The wrong-doer is punished by the thought, "I have done evil", and is even more punished when the wrong-doer comes to a bad state.
18. Here and beyond the doer of good rejoices. The doer of good rejoices both ways. The doer of good rejoices at the thought, "I have done good", and rejoices even more when the doer of good comes to a happy state.
19. Even if fond of quoting appropriate texts, the thoughtless who does not put them into practice is like a cowherd counting other people's cows.
20. Even if one does not quote appropriate texts much, if one follows the principles of the Teaching by getting rid of greed, hatred and delusion, is deep of insight with a mind free from attachment, and not clinging to anything then one is a partner with wisdom.
21. Attention leads to life. Carelessness leads to death.
22. Clearly understanding the value of attention, the wise take pleasure in it.
23. Those who meditate with perseverance, constantly working hard at it, are the wise who experience freedom from chains.
24. When resolute, recollected, pure of deed, persevering, attentive, and self-controlled, reputation is bound to grow.
25. By resolution and attention, by discipline and self-control, one may build an island that no flood can overthrow.
26. Foolish and ignorant indulge in careless lives, whereas the wise guards attention as the most precious possession.
27. Don't indulge in careless behaviour. Don't be the friend of sensual pleasures. Meditate attentively and attain bundant joy.
28. Carefully rid yourself of carelessness and climb the High Castle of Wisdom. Sorrowless, observe sorrowing people, like the clear-sighted on a mountain top looking at the ground below upon those with limited vision.
29. Careful amidst the careless, amongst the sleeping wide-awake, the intelligent leave all behind, like a race-horse does a mere hack.
30. People approve of attention, while carelessness is always condemned.
31. Take pleasure in being attentive, and recognize the danger of carelessness, make progress like a forest fire, consuming all obstacles in the way.
32. Take pleasure in being attentive, recognising the danger of carelessness.
33.Elusive and unreliable as it is, the wise straighten the restless, agitated mind, like a fletcher crafting an arrow.
34. Trying to break out of the Tempter's control, one's mind writhes to and fro, like a fish pulled from its watery home onto dry ground.
35. It is good to restrain one's mind, uncontrollable, fast moving, and following its own desires as it is. A disciplined mind leads to happiness.
36. The wise guard the mind for it is very hard to keep track of, extremely subtle, and follows its own desires. A guarded mind brings happiness.
37. The mind goes wandering off far and wide alone. Incorporeal, it dwells in the cavern of the heart. Those who keep it under control escape from temptation's bonds.
38. Wisdom does not come to fulfilment in an unsettled mind.
39. Be free from the inflow of thoughts and restlessness. Abandone both good and evil. The alert do not know fear.
40. Use wisdom to make the mind a fortress. Defend what you have won by remaining free from attachment.
42. One's own misdirected thought can do one more harm than an enemy or an ill-wisher.
43. No one can do you as much good as your own properly directed thought.
47. Death carries off those busy picking flowers with an besotted mind, like a great flood does a sleeping village.
49. Behave like a bee which takes its food from a flower without hurting its appearance or its scent.
50. It is not the shortcomings of others, nor what others have done or not done that one should think about, but what one has done or not done oneself.
51. Like a fine flower, beautiful to look at but without scent, fine words are fruitless in those who do not act in accordance with them.
52. Like a fine flower, beautiful to look at and scented too, fine words bear fruit in those who act in accordance with them.
54. The scent of flowers cannot travel against the wind, and nor can that of sandalwood or jasmine, but the fragrance of good does travel against the wind.
55. Sandalwood, tagara, lotus, jasmine the fragrance of virtue is unrivalled by such kinds of perfume.
57. Perfect of virtue, always acting with recollection, and liberated by realisation temptation does not know the path such people travel.
58. Like a beautiful, fragrant lotus, springing up on a pile of rubbish, so the wise stand out among the ignorant by virtue of wisdom.
60. Long is the night for the sleepless. Long is the road for the weary. Long is the suffering for the foolish, who do not recognize truth.
61. If on one's way one does not come across one's better or an equal, then one should press on resolutely alone. There is no companionship with a fool.
63. A fool who recognises their own ignorance is wise, but a fool who considers themself wise is a fool.
64. Even if a fool lived with the wise the fool's entire life, the fool would still not recognise the truth, like a wooden spoon cannot recognise the flavour of the soup.
65. Even if one of intelligence lives with the wise only for a moment, one of intelligence will immediately recognise the truth, like one's tongue recognises the flavour of the soup.
66. Stupid fools go through life as their own enemies, doing evil deeds which have bitter consequences.
67. A deed is not well done if one suffers after doing it, if one bears the consequences sobbing and with tears streaming down one's face.
68. But a deed is well done if one does not suffer after doing it, if one experiences the consequences smiling and contented.
69. A fool thinks it like honey so long as the bad deed does not bear fruit, but when it does bear fruit the fool experiences suffering.
71. Like fresh milk a bad deed does not turn at once. It follows a fool scorching the fool like a smouldering fire.
72. A fool acquires knowledge only to disadvantage. It destroys what good the fool has, and turns the fool's brains.
73. One may desire a spurious respect, precedence, and the veneration from others. "Everyone should think it was my doing. They should accept my authority in all matters great or small." This is a fool's way of thinking. The fool's self-seeking and conceit just increase.
74. Take no pleasure in the respect of others. Devote yourself to solitude.
75. Like one pointing out hidden treasure, if one finds a person of intelligence who can recognise one's faults and take one to task for them, one should cultivate the company of such a wise person. Those who cultivate a person like that is the better for it, not worse.
76. If a person disciplines, instructs and restrains them from what is not right, that person will be dear to the good, and disliked by the bad.
77. Don't cultivate the company of bad companions. Don't cultivate depraved people. Cultivate companions of good character. Cultivate superior company.
78. Those who drink in the Truth will live happily with a peaceful mind. The wise always delight in the truth.
79. Navvies channel water, fletchers fashion arrows, and carpenters work on wood, but the wise themselves.
80. Like a solid rock is not shaken by the wind, so the wise are not moved by praise or blame.
81. The wise find peace on hearing the truth, like a deep, clear, undisturbed lake.
82. The pure don't babble about sensual desires. Whether touched by pleasure or pain, the wise show no change of temper.
83. If one does not seek wealth or power either for oneself or for someone else, if one does not seek one's own advantage by unprincipled means, then one is virtuous and wise.
84. Few are those who have crossed over to the other shore, while the rest run along the bank. However those who follow truth will cross over to the other shore, out of the dominion of ruin, hard though it is to escape.
85. The wise, abandoning darkness, should cultivate what is pure. Leaving home for the homeless life, seek joy in the solitude which people find so hard to enjoy, and, abandoning sensual pleasures, cleanse yourself of inner defilements, looking on nothing as your own.
86. Those whose minds are thoroughly practiced in the factors of enlightenment, who find delight in freedom from attachment, in the renunciation of clinging, free from the inflow of thoughts, they are like shining lights, having reached liberation in the world.
89. Journey over, sorrowless, freed in every way, and with all bonds broken for such a person there is no more distress.
90. Recollected, take no pleasure in a fixed abode. Like wild swans abandoning a pool, leave one resting place after another.
91. Those for whom there is no more acquisition, who are fully aware of the nature of food, whose dwelling place is an empty and imageless release the way of such people is hard to follow, like the path of birds through the sky.
92. Those whose inflowing thoughts are dried up, who is unattached to food, whose dwelling place is an empty and imageless release the way of such a person is hard to follow, like the path of birds through the sky.
93. When the senses have come to peace, like a horses well broken by the trainer, when rid of conceit and without inflowing thoughts one is well set.
94. Like the earth be not disturbed, like a great pillar be firmly set and reliable, like a lake be free from defilement.
95. Freed by full realisation and at peace, the mind is at peace, and speech and action peaceful.
97. Whether in the village or the forest, whether on high ground or low, wherever the enlightened live, that is a delightful spot.
98. Delightful for them are the forests. The desire-free find delight there, for they seek no sensual joys.
99. Better than a thousand pointless words is one saying to the point on hearing which one finds peace.
100. Better than a thousand pointless verses is one stanza on hearing which one finds peace.
102. Though one were to defeat thousands upon thousands in battle, to overcome one's self, is the supreme victory.
103. Victory over oneself is better than that over others. When one has conquered one's self and always acts with self-control, no one can reverse the victory.
110. Though one were to live a hundred years immoral and with a mind unstilled by meditation, the life of a single day is better if one is moral and practises meditation.
111. Though one were to live a hundred years without wisdom and with a mind unstilled by meditation, the life of a single day is better if one is wise and practises meditation.
112. Though one were to live a hundred years without seeing the rise and passing of things, the life of a single day is better if one sees the rise and passing of things.
114. Though one were to live a hundred years without seeing the truth, the life of a single day is better if one sees the truth.
115. Be urgent in good; hold your thoughts off evil. When one is slack in doing good the mind delights in evil.
116. If one has done evil, let one not keep on doing it. Let one not create an inclination to it. The accumulation of evil means suffering.
117. If one has done good, let one keep on doing it. Let one create an inclination to it. The accumulation of good means happiness.
118. The evil encounter good so long as the evil behaviour does not bear fruit, but when the evil behaviour bears fruit, then the evil encounter the evil consequences.
119. The good encounter evil so long as the good behaviour does not bear fruit, but when the good behaviour bears fruit, then the good encounter the good consequences.
120. Do not think lightly of evil that not the least consequence will come of it. A whole waterpot will fill up from dripping drops of water. A fool fills with evil, just a little at a time.
121. Do not think lightly of good that not the least consequence will come of it. A whole waterpot will fill up from dripping drops of water. The wise fill with good, just a little at a time.
122. One should avoid evil like a merchant with much goods and only a small escort avoids a dangerous road, and like one who loves life avoids poison.
123. If there is no wound on one's hand, one can handle poison. Poison has no effect where there is no wound. There is no evil for the non-doer.
124. Whoever does harm the innocent, the evil comes back on that fool, like fine dust thrown into the wind.
126. Not in the sky, nor in the depths of the sea, nor hiding in the cleft of the rocks, there is no place on earth where one can take one's stand to escape from an evil deed.
127. Not in the sky, nor in the depths of the sea, nor hiding in the cleft of the rocks, there is no place on earth where one can take one's stand to not be overcome by death.
128. All fear violence, all are afraid of death. Seeing the similarity to oneself, one should not use violence or have it used.
129. All fear violence, life is dear to all. Seeing the similarity to oneself, one should not use violence or have it used.
132. Don't speak harshly to anyone. If you do people will speak to you in the same way. Harsh words are painful and their retaliation will hurt you.
133. If you don't disturb yourself, like a broken gong does not vibrate, then irritability no longer exists for you.
134. Like a cowherd driving cows off to the fields, so old age and death take away the years from the living.
135. Even when doing evil, the fool does not realise it. The idiot is punished by the idiot's own deeds, like one is scorched by fire.
143. Like a thoroughbred horse touched by the whip, be strenuous and determined. Then you will be able to rid yourself of suffering by means of morality, energetic behaviour, stillness of mind and reflection, after you have become full of wisdom, good habits and recollection.
144. Navies channel water, fletchers fashion arrows, and carpenters work on wood, but the good discipline themselves.
150. Even kings' splendid carriages wear out, and the body is certain bound to grow old, but the Truth found is not subject to aging.
151. The ignorant age like an ox. The flesh may increase, but not understanding.
156. Knowing that one is dear to oneself, one should guard oneself well.
157. First establish yourself in what is right. Then if you teach others, you will not be corrupted.
158. If one would only apply to oneself what one teaches others, when one was well disciplined oneself one could train others. It is oneself who is hard to train.
159. One is one's own guardian. What other guardian could one have? With oneself well disciplined one obtains a rare guardian indeed.
160. The evil done to one's self and which had its origin and being in one's self breaks the foolish, like a diamond breaks a precious stone.
161. Those of great immorality are like a creeper, suffocating the tree they are on. They do to themselfs just what an enemy would wish.
164. By oneself one does evil. By oneself one is defiled. By oneself one abstains from evil. By oneself one is purified. Purity and impurity are personal matters. No one can purify someone else.
165. One should not neglect one's own welfare for that of someone else, however great. When one has understood what one's own welfare really consists of, one should apply oneself to that welfare.
166. Don't practice an ignoble way of life, don't indulge in a careless attitude. Don't follow a wrong view, and don't be attached to the world.
167. Wake up and don't be careless, but lead a life of well-doing. Those who follow righteousness live happily.
168. Lead a life of righteousness, and not a life of wrong-doing. Those who follow righteousness live happily.
170. Look at the world as a gilded royal carriage, in which fools get bogged down, while the wise have no attachment to it.
171. Even if previously careless, when one later stops being careless, one illuminates the world, like the moon breaking away from a cloud.
172. When bad deeds are covered over by good ones, they illuminate the world, like the moon breaking away from a cloud.
173. Blinded indeed is this world. Few are those who see the truth.
182. To abstain from all evil, the practice of good, and the thorough purification of one's mind is wise.
184. Not to speak harshly and not to harm others, self restraint, moderation in food, a secluded dwelling, and the cultivation of the higher levels of consciousness is wise.
196. Happy indeed we live who are free from hatred among those who still hate. In the midst of the hate-filled, we live free from hatred.
197. Happy indeed we live who are free from disease among those still diseased. In the midst of the diseased, we live free from disease.
198. Happy indeed we live who are free from worry among those who are still worried. In the midst of the worried, we live free from worry.
199. Happy indeed we live who have nothing of our own. We shall feed on joy.
200. A victor only breeds hatred, while the defeated lives in misery, but a those at who are at peace within live happily, abandoning up ideas of victory and defeat.
201. There is no fire like desire. There is no weakness like anger. There is no happiness greater than peace.
202. Hunger is the supreme disease. Mental activity is the supreme suffering.
203. Health is the supreme possession. Contentment is the supreme wealth. A trustworthy friend is the supreme relation.
204. After enjoying the taste of solitude and the taste of peace, one is freed from distress and evil.
206. Those who keep company with a fool, will suffer. It is always painful to live with fools, like with an enemy, but the wise are good to live with.
207. One should cultivate the company of the wise, in the same way as the moon keeps to a path among the stars.
208. One who applies themself to what is not really an appropriate subject for application, and fails to apply themself to what is, missing the real purpose to grasp after what appeals to them, may well envy those who do apply themself.
209. Never have anything to do with likes and dislikes. The absence of what one likes is painful, as is the presence of what one dislikes.
210. Therefore don't take a liking to anything. To lose what one likes is hard, but there are no bonds for those who have no likes and dislikes.
211. From preference arises sorrow, from preference arises fear, those freed from preference have no sorrow and certainly no fear.
212. From affection arises sorrow, from affection arises fear, those freed from affection have no sorrow and certainly no fear.
213. From pleasure arises sorrow, from pleasure arises fear, those freed from pleasure have no sorrow and certainly no fear.
214. From sensuality arises sorrow, from sensuality arises fear, those freed from sensuality have no sorrow and certainly no fear.
215. From craving arises sorrow, from craving arises fear, those freed from craving have no sorrow and certainly no fear.
216. Well may people hold dear the those endowed with morality and insight, who are well established in righteousness, seers of the truth, and applying themselves to their own business.
217. One whose longing has been aroused for the indescribable, whose mind has been quickened by it, and whose thought is not attached to sensuality is truly called one who is bound upstream.
220. Abandon anger, give up pride, and overcome all fetters. Suffering does not befall one who is without attachment to names and forms, and possesses nothing of their own.
221. To governing rising anger like a chariot going out of control, is to be a charioteer. The rest are just holding the reins.
222. Overcome anger with freedom from anger. Overcome evil with good. Overcome meanness with generosity, and overcome a liar with truthfulness.
223. Speak the truth, don't get angry, and always give, even if only a little, when you are asked.
225. Inflowing thoughts come to an end in those who are ever alert of mind, training themselves night and day, and ever intent.
226. They criticise one who sits in silence, they criticise one who talks a lot. They even criticise one who speaks in moderation. There is no one in the world who is not criticised.
227. There never has been, there never will be, and there is not now any one exclusively criticised or exclusively praised.
230. Guard against physical unruliness. Be restrained in body. Abandoning physical wrong doing, lead a life of physical well doing.
231. Guard against mental unruliness. Be restrained in mind. Abandoning mental wrong doing, lead a life of mental well doing.
232. Guard against verbal unruliness. Be restrained in speech. Abandoning verbal wrong doing, lead a life of verbal well doing.
233. The wise who are restrained in body, speech and mind such are the well and truly restrained.
238. Little by little, moment by moment, the wise should cleanse themself of blemishes, like a smith purifying silver.
239. Just as the rust which develops on iron, derives from it but then proceeds to eat it away, so a person of unrestrained behaviour is drawn to ruin by unrestrained behaviour.
240. Lack of repetition is the blight of scriptures. Lack of repairs is the blight of buildings. The blight of beauty is laziness, and carelessness is the blight of a guard.
241. The blight of a giver is meanness. Bad mental states are blights.
242. But the supreme bight is ignorance. Destroy this blight and be free of blights.
247. Don't let greed and wrong doing subject you to lasting suffering.
250. There is no fire like desire. There is no hold like anger. There is no net like ignorance. There is no river like craving.
251. Other people's faults are easily seen. One can winnow out other people's faults like chaff. One hides one's own faults though, like a dishonest gambler hides an unlucky throw.
252. When one notices the mistakes of others and is always finding fault with them, the inflow of one's thoughts just increases and one is a long way from the cessation of this influx.
257. One is not learned by virtue of much speaking. Those who are patient, without anger and fearless, are to be called learned.
258. One is not a bearer of the teaching by virtue of much speaking. One who, has only studied a little, has experienced the truth in person, and who has not forgotten the teaching is indeed a bearer of the teaching.
259. One is not an elder by virtue of having white hair. One is just advanced in years, and called "grown old in vain". Those who are truthful, non violent, restraint and self control, is to be called an elder.
261. It is not just by fine speech or by flower-like beauty that one is admirable, if one is envious, mean and deceitful, but when that sort of behaviour has been eliminated, rooted out and destroyed, that faultless sage is said to be admirable.
269. One is not noble if one harms other living creatures. It is by non violence to all forms of life that one is called noble.
270. It is not just by means of morality and religious observances, not by great learning nor by attainments in meditation, nor by living alone, nor by thinking,"I am enjoying a spiritual happiness which ordinary people do not know" that one achieves peace if one has not achieved the elimination of inflowing thoughts.
272. Dispassion is the best of mental states, and of human beings the best is the seer.
276. All processes are impermanent. When one sees this with understanding, then one is disillusioned with the things of suffering. This is the Path of Purification.
277. All processes are painful. When one sees this with understanding, then one is disillusioned with the things of suffering. This is the Path of Purification.
278. All processes are out of my control. When one sees this with understanding, then one is disillusioned with the things of suffering. This is the Path of Purification.
279. The lazy are incapable of recognising the way of wisdom.
280. Be guarded in speech, restrained of mind and not doing anything wrong physically. Perfect these three forms of action.
281. From meditation springs wisdom. From lack of meditation, loss of wisdom. Recognising these alternative roads of progress and decline, one should so direct oneself so that one's wisdom will increase.
282. Cut down the forest, not just a tree. Out of the forest of desire springs danger. By cutting down both the forest of desire and the brushwood of longing, be rid of the forest.
283. So long as the least sensual desire has not been eradicated, the mind is fettered like a sucking calf to its mother.
284. Pluck out your desire, like one does an autumn lotus with one's hand. Devote yourself to the path of peace.
285. "Here I will spend the rainy season, and here the hot season." This is the way a fool thinks. It does not occur to the fool what may happen in between.
289. If sacrificing a slight happiness can obtain a greater happiness, then sacrifice the lesser happiness with a view to the greater happiness.
290. Seeking happiness by inflicting suffering on others, does not reach freedom from hatred, but involves the toils of hatred.
291. What IS their affair is put aside. What is NOT their affair gets done. The inflow of thoughts in such brazen and careless people just goes on increasing. They whose recollection of the body is always well established, however, have nothing to do with what is not their affair, always persevering in what IS their affair. The inflow of thoughts in such recollected and aware people simply dies away.
301. It is hard to take up a life of renunciation, and difficult to find satisfaction in it, but it is also difficult to live in bad households, and painful to live with people unlike oneself, when one is forever tangled in suffering and restless. Therefore don't always be restless, and don't let yourself be tangled in suffering.
303. The good are conspicuous a long way off, like a Himalayan peak, while the bad are just not noticed, like arrows shot into the dark.
304. Living alone, sleeping alone, travelling alone, and resolute, alone and self disciplined, take pleasure in living in the forest.
325. My mind used formerly to go off wandering wherever it felt like, following its own inclination, but today I shall control it carefully, like a mahout does a rutting elephant.
326. Take pleasure in being careful. Guard your mind well. Extricate yourself from the mire.
327. If you find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go along with them, overcoming all dangers, pleased at heart and mindful.
328. But if you do not find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go on your way alone.
329. It is better to travel alone. There is no companionship with a fool. Go on your way alone and commit no evil, without cares.
330. It is good to have companions when occasion arises, and it is good to be contented with whatever comes. Merit is good at the close of life, and the elimination of all suffering is good.
332. Good is good behaviour up to old age, good is the acquisition of understanding, and abstention from evil is good.
333. The desire of the thoughtless grows like a creeper. They drift from one life to another like a monkey looking for fruit in the forest.
334. When one is overcome by this wretched, clinging desire in the world, one's sorrows increase like grass growing up after a lot of rain.
335. But when one masters this wretched desire, which is so hard to overcome, then one's sorrows just drop off, like a drop of water off a lotus.
336. Dig up the root of craving, as one does a weed for its fragrant root. Don't let temptation destroy you.
337. In the same way that even a felled tree will grow again if its root is strong and undamaged, so if latent desire has not been rooted out, then suffering shoots up again and again.
338. When craving is strong, then numerous desire-based thoughts pull the deluded along.
339. The streams (of craving) flow everywhere, and the creeper hoots up and establishes itself, so when you see the creeper shooting up, cut away its root with your understanding.
341. People beset by desire run here and there, like a snared rabbit, and those trapped in the bonds of attachments keep returning for a long time to suffering.
342. People beset by desire run here and there, like a snared rabbit, so one should get rid of one's craving if it is freedom from desire that one wants.
343. When one out of the forest of desire is drawn back into the forest, then free from the forest as one is, one runs back into it. Free, one is running back to chains.
344. The wise say that it is not an iron, wooden or fibre fetter which is a strong one, but the besotted hankering after trinkets, and family, that, say the wise, is the strong fetter. It drags one down, and loose as it feels, it is hard to break. Breaking this fetter, people renounce the world, free from longing and abandoning sensuality.
346. Those on fire with desire follow the stream of their desires, like a spider follows the strands of its self-made web. Breaking the bond, the wise walk on free from longing, and leaving all suffering behind.
347. Let go the past, let go the future, and let go what is in between, transcending the things of time.
353. The gift of the Truth beats all other gifts. The flavour of the Truth beats all other tastes. The joy of the Truth beats all other joys, and the cessation of desire conquers all suffering.
354. Riches destroy a fool, but not those who are seeking the other shore. The fool destroys by craving for riches, and destroys others too.
355. Weeds are the blight of fields. Desire is the blight of humankind. Consequently being free from desire bears great fruit.
356. Weeds are the blight of fields. Anger is the blight of humankind. Consequently being free from anger bears great fruit.
357. Weeds are the blight of fields. Delusion is the blight of humankind. Consequently being free from delusion bears great fruit.
358. Weeds are the blight of fields. Self-seeking is the blight of humankind. Consequently being free from self-seeking bears great fruit.
359. Restraint of the eyes is good. So is restraint of the ears. Restraint of the nose is good, and so is restraint of the palate.
360. Restraint of the body is good. So is restraint of speech. Restraint of mind is good, and so is restraint in everything.
361. Be restrained of hand, restrained of foot, restrained of speech and restrained in the highest faculty, with joy turned inwards, mind still, alone and contented.
362. When one is restrained of tongue, quotes wise sayings, and is peaceful, expounding both letter and deed that speech is good to hear.
364. One should not underestimate what one has, and one should not live envying others. One who envies others does not achieve stillness of mind in meditation.
366. Be without self-identification with any object or idea, do not grieve for what does not exist.
367. Those who live full of goodwill will reach the satisfaction of stilling the mind.
368. Empty the boat. Empty it will sail lightly for you when you have cut away desire and aversion.
370. Meditate, don't be careless, don't let your mind take pleasure in the senses.
371. There is no meditation without wisdom, and there is no wisdom without meditation.
376. In the same way that the jasmine drops its withered flowers, you too should discard desire and aversion.
377. Peaceful of body, peaceful of speech and with mind thoroughly stilled, thosee who themself of attachment to the world are at peace.
378. You should encourage yourself, yourself. You should restrain yourself, yourself. When you are self-protected like that, you will live happily.
379. One is one's own guard. What other guard could one have? One is one's own destiny. Therefore one should train oneself, like a merchant does a thoroughbred horse.
382. Cut the stream and go across, abandon sensuality. When you have achieved the stilling of the activities of the mind, you will know the unconditioned.
385. Meditate, free from stain, settled in mind, with job accomplished, without inflowing thoughts, and having achieved the purpose.
390. Do no wrong with body, speech or mind, be restrained in all three spheres.
396. Cut off all fetters, do not get, is beyond bonds that is liberated.
397. Cut off both bond and strap, halter as well as bridle, removed the barrier.
398. Endure undisturbed criticism, ill-treatment and bonds, be strong in patience, and that strength is power.
399. Be without anger, devout, upright, free from craving, and disciplined in body.
400. Like water on a lotus leaf, like a mustard seed on the point of an pin, be not stuck to the senses.
404. Abandon violence to all living creatures moving or still, neither kill or causes killing.
405. Be unagitated amongst the agitated, at peace among the violent, without clinging among those who cling.
406. Be one from whom desire and aversion, conceit and hypocrisy have fallen away, like a mustard seed on the point of a pin.
407. Be one who utters only gentle, instructive and truthful speech, criticising no-one.
408. Be one who takes nothing in the world that has not been given, long or short, big or small.
409. Be one who has no desires, without longings, freed!.
410. Be one who has no attachments and has been freed from uncertainty by realisation.
411. Be one who has even here and now transcended the fetter of both good and evil, who is sorrowless, faultless and pure.
412. Be stainless, pure, clear and free from impurities like the moon, the search for pleasure extinguished.
413. Be one who has transcended the treacherous mire of ignorance, who has crossed over, reached the other shore, meditating, motionless of mind, free from uncertainty, and who is at peace by not clinging to anything.
414. Be one who by here and now abandoning sensuality, has gone forth a homeless wanderer, the search for pleasure extinguished.
415. Be one who by here and now abandoning craving, has gone forth a homeless wanderer, the search for pleasure extinguished.
417. Be one who has abandoned pleasure and displeasure, is cooled off and without further fuel.
420. Be one who has nothing, before, after or in between, possessionless and without attachment.
421. Be who is motionless of mind, washed clean and awakened.

The Tao Te Ching
1. The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. Unnameable is the essence. Naming is the beginning of ten thousand particular things. Named are the manifestations. Nameless is the Mystery.
2. Whenever there is beauty there is ugliness. Whenever there is good there is bad. Long and short complete each other. High and low support each other. Difficult and easy need each other. Sound and silence fulfill each other. Front and back follow each other. Form and space shape each other. Life and death give birth to each other. Manifestations and Mystery come from the same source.
3. Be one with the Tao. Act without forcing. Teach by showing. Things come let them come. Things go let them go. Give birth without possessing, achieve without expecting, create without taking credit, work without needing praise. Complete your work, then forget it. Your work lasts forever.
4. The Tao is like a fertile valley, filled with creativity, Gateway of the Female, roots of Heaven and Earth.
5. The Tao is like a well, empty but inexhaustible, dark, enduring, deep, ancestor of ten thousand things. However much you use it, you never have to fill it. However much you use it, you never use it up.
6. Edge without sharpness, knot without tangle, hole without emptiness, door without opening. Soft glare. Clear fog. Submerged, indistinct, motherless, older than the gods.
7. Thirty spokes, a rim, and a hub make a wheel. The hole in the center moves the cart. Clay molds into a pot. The emptiness inside holds the food. Roof, walls, and floor frame a house. The space within is where we live. Existence gives the form. Nonexistence gives the meaning.
8. Look for it and you cannot see it. Listen for it and you cannot hear it. Reach for it and you cannot touch it. Grasp at it and you cannot hold it. Approach it and it has no beginning. Follow it and it has no end.
9. When the superior hear about the Tao, they immediately endeavor to practice it. When the average hear about the Tao, they try it part way. When the lesser hear about the Tao, they laugh. That is why they are lesser, and the Tao is the Tao.
10. Seek, and with this you will find. If you have committed wrongs, with this you will escape.
11. For the good, their treasure. For the bad, their refuge.
12. The Tao is impartial. It gives birth to both good and evil. Be impartial. Use whatever life sends.
13. Heaven covers. Earth supports. Heaven and Earth endure.
14. In living, honor the land. In thinking, be deep. In speaking be truthful. In working, be skillful. In dealing with others, be compassionate. In giving, be generous. In ruling be fair. In acting, be timely.
15. The ten thousand things are female on one side and male on the other. Using both creates vitality. Balancing both creates harmony.
16. Know the male but hold to the female. Know the white but hold to the black. Know the peaks but hold to the valleys. Know complexity but hold to simplicity. Know sound but hold to silence. Know action but hold to stillness. Know knowledge but hold to innocence. Know the manifestations but hold to the mystery.
17. Activity counters cold. Tranquility counters heat.
18. The Tao is the Great Mother. The ten thousand things are all her children. Know the Mother and you will know the children. Know the children and you will know the Mother.
19. First we name. Then we describe. Then we compare. Then we set one first, another last. As soon as we start to name it is time to stop.
20. Fill yourself with utmost emptiness. Embrace internal tranquility. The ten thousand things, see how they arise and flow around you each one coming into being, growing, adapting, changing, fulfilling, then returning to the source as you sit in stillness in the center, watching.
21. Be aware, observe, notice. Appreciate the small. Find flavor in the delicate.
22. Live wood is soft and tender. Dead wood is hard and strong. The live leaf is supple. The dead leaf is brittle. The army that is not flexible never wins a battle. The tree that survives the storm is the one that bends in the wind.
23. Yield and prevail. If you can bend, you can be preserved unbroken. If you can flex, you can be kept straight. If you can be emptied, you can be filled. If you can be worn out, you can be renewed. Those with little can receive much. Those with much can be confused.
24. The Tao is like water. Water takes the lowest way. It flows around obstacles. It has no projections, but it penetrates that which has no crevices. It is the softest of all things, but it grinds rock. It resists nothing, but is irresistible. It asks for nothing, but nourishes everything. It strives for nothing, but transforms everything.
25. One who is one with the Tao is like a newborn boy child. His body is soft and pliant but his grasp is strong. He does not yet know the union of male and female, but his organ stands up. He can scream all day without getting hoarse or sleep utterly peacefully. He does just what he should be doing at each moment. He is completely natural.
26. Be cautious, like one who fords a river in winter careful, like one restrained in speaking formal, like a host courteous, like a guest generous, like a fertile valley plain, like uncarved wood natural, like a tree in the wilderness calm and serene, like a still pool of deep water.
27. Be detached. Work with joy, without caring for the achievement. Travel with joy, without focusing on the destination.
28. On disaster good fortune perches. Beneath good fortune disaster crouches. Straight becomes crooked, which becomes straight again. Good gives rise to evil, which gives rise to good again. There is no beginning or ending.
29. The bright way may seem dark. The straight way may seem crooked. The smooth way may seem rough. The way forward may seem to go backward. True love may seem heartless. True integrity may seem dishonest. True fullness may seem empty. And even the eternal may seem to change.
30. Sincere words may not be beautiful. Beautiful words may not be sincere. The wise may not be learned. The learned may not be wise. The good may not be rich. The rich may not be good. Those who know may not speak. Those who speak may not know.
31. Success is as treacherous as failure. Praise is as useless as blame. Fortune, fame, and favor are as dangerous as disgrace. High status and position can bring you great affliction.
32. You can lose by gaining. You can gain by losing.
33. Trapped in desires, you see only your desires. Trapped in desires, you see surfaces. Free from desires, you see the subtleties. Free from desires, you experience the mystery.
34. Look to achievement for satisfaction and you will never be satisfied. Look to riches for contentment and you will never be content. Look to possessions for happiness and you will never be happy. Look to position for security and you will never be secure. Appreciate what you have. Rejoice in how things are. You lack nothing when you realize there is nothing lacking.
35. Practice non-knowing. You do not know what is good and what is evil. So cleanse your mind of desire for particular ends, and accept everything, and let everything happen, and take joy in everything, and use everything that comes your way.
36. To know that you know not is sanity. To know not that you know not is sickness. Be your own healer. Cure yourself of false knowing.
37. Heal the people. Teach them non-knowing. When people think they know, they can not be guided. When people know that they do not know, they can find their own way.
38. Desire not to desire. Value what is everywhere. Learn what to unlearn. Return to what the masses pass by.
39. Put yourself last and be first, put yourself below and be above, give up personal desires and find all desires satisfied, gives up self interest and find interests realized, let go of everything and be one with everything, empty yourself completely and be completely fulfilled.
40. In seeking knowledge, day by day something is added. In following Tao, day by day something is dropped. Day by day you do less and less deliberately. Day by day you do not do more and more. You do less and less and do not do more and more, until everything happens spontaneously. Then you act without acting, and do without doing, and achieve without forcing. And nothing is done. And nothing is left undone.
41. Muddy water, when still, gradually becomes clear. Be still. Let your mud settle and your mind clear. Wait quietly until the right action comes naturally.
42. Grasp at something and lose it. Act with purpose and defeat the purpose.
43. The soldier who goes out ready to die comes back with life and victory. The soldier who goes out caring mostly for living dies and is forgotten.
44. Heaven favors who knows what or why? Bravery may lead to death and loss. Caution may lead to life and victory. Without fighting you can be good at winning. Without speaking you can be good at responding. Without deliberateness you can be good at planning. No one summons the Tao. It comes on its own. Heavens net is vast and cast wide, and nothing slips through.
45. Do not act on the ten thousand things. Simply help them be themselves. Do not try to change the people. Simply show them who they are. Lead them back to where they came from. Lead them back to what they have always known.
46. Do not speak. Act. Do not teach. Show. When you rule, people hardly know you are there. When your work is done, people say, Look! We did this! All by ourselves!
47. Be impartial. Be good to the good. Be good to the bad. Such is true good.
48. The good teach. The bad are the raw material. Cherish the teacher and the raw material.
49. Insincere words can be bought and sold. Empty deeds can be used as gifts. Things we see as bad should they ever be rejected? People we see as bad should they ever be abandoned?
50. Know the tally, but do not call for the rewards or punishments. Those with virtue can do the accounting. Those without virtue collect the taxes.
51. Accept everyone as children of the Tao, and treat everyone with compassion, generosity, and understanding.
52. The world says I am great, but strange. If I were not strange, I could not be great. If I were like everyone else, I would be insignificant.
53. Something there is that formed out of Chaos pure and deep and still standing alone, unchanging Mother of Heaven and Earth. I do not know its name. I only call it Tao.
54. I have three treasures I hold and cherish: compassion, frugality, and not needing to be ahead of all under heaven. Compassion gives me courage. Frugality allows generosity. Not needing to be ahead lets me lead the people.
55. Other people are noisy and exuberant. I am silent like something that has not yet given any sign like a baby who has not yet smiled. Other people have many possessions. I have nothing. Other people know where they are going and what they are doing. I am ignorant. Other people judge things and make many fine distinctions. I find everything subtle and complex. Other people act with purpose. I drift and float. Formless am I like the ocean shapeless, unmoving, unresting. I suck from the breast of the Mother.
56. Heaven covers everything. Can you be as generous? Earth supports everything. Can you be as tolerant?
57. Can you play the part of the female? Can you accept, allow, adapt, flex, bend, change? Can you use everything that comes your way?
58. Can you be natural and spontaneous? Can you be like a newborn babe?
59. Can you love the people? Can you teach and lead and serve them? Can you love them without trying to change them? Can you lead them and leave them free?
60. Can you embrace the One? Can you cleanse and polish and purify the bright mirror of your soul? Can you concentrate and focus your breath and energy? Can you step outside yourself and understand all within the four reaches?
61. Give birth without owning. Love without possessing. Teach without making dependent. Lead without trying to control. Act by helping things happen naturally. Guide by helping things grow naturally. Empty yourself, and let the Tao fill you and move through you and use you as part of the pattern.
62. The Tao takes no action. Yet everything happens. If leaders could hold to it, the world would transform spontaneously. If, after the transformation, some wanted to take action, I would calm them with nameless simplicity.
63. If I had just the smallest speck of wisdom, I could walk on the Great Way, and the only fear I would have would be of going astray. The Great Way is straight and smooth and easy to follow. But people delight in the crooked and rough and difficult.
64. My words are easy to understand and easy to put into practice. But few understand, and few put them into practice.
65. If everyone understood, what use would I be? It is because few understand that I can be of great value.
66. A few will stop to hear about the Tao. Everyone will stop for food or music.
67. The light rests on the heavy. The mountain grows from the valley. The noble is rooted in the common. Clear water floats over mud. Know your roots. Love, understand, and honor ordinary people.
68. In expression, to be brief is natural. A whirlwind does not last all morning. A cloudburst does not last all day.
69. Boasting and bragging are extra food and unnecessary baggage. They impede traveling on the Way.
70. Self praise is no praise. When you describe an imaginary carriage, dream as you wish, embellish as you want, enumerate all the features as you will there is still no carriage.
71. A jade necklace shines brightly, displays itself for everyone, jingles constantly. Be not like the jade. Just rumble occasionally like a rock.
72. Give yourself to others, then be even greater. Use what you have for others, then have even more. The Tao nurtures everything and harms nothing. Help all and hurt none.
73. Give, but do not give yourself away. Serve, but serve yourself first. The best commander is not killed or captured. How could the armies prevail without the commander?
74. Travel all day without ever losing sight of your baggage. When safely within a walled in hostel, relax and transcends all cares.
75. Look for virtue and success, and you find them everywhere. Look for failure and loss, and they constantly befall you.
76. Use the Way as the means, and the end will be one with the Way. Follow the Way and the Way will be straight before you.
77. Too much light causes blindness. Too much sound causes deafness. Too much indulgence in physical pleasures causes distraction and dissipation. Having too many possessions impedes traveling on the Way.
78. Hold to the center. Dwell in the substance, not in the surface, in the fruit, not in the flower, in reality, not in appearances, in the essence, not in the ornament.
79. Fill your cup too full and it will spill. Sharpen your knife too much and it will blunt. Acquire too much and you will be unable to protect it. Climb too high and you will be unable to maintain it. Too much pride brings on its own disaster. Too much study leads to exhaustion. More words mean less. Walk too far and you will pass your destination.
80. The skillful carver does little cutting. The skillful traveler leaves few tracks and traces. The skillful binding takes few knots, but does not come undone. The skillful speaker uses few words.
81. Be sharp, but do not cut. Be pointed, but do not pierce. Be straightforward, but not unrestrained. Be bright, but do not dazzle.
82. The greatest mistake is desiring too much. The greatest sorrow is not knowing when you have enough. The greatest fault is needing to compete. The greatest defect is not knowing when to stop.
83. Stop trouble before it starts. Make order before there is chaos. Deal with the small before it is large. Deal with the few before they are many. Begin the difficult while it is easy. Approach the great work through a series of small tasks. The largest evergreen grows from a tiny seedling. The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.
84. If you rush into action, you may stumble. If you stand on tiptoe you do not stand stable. Failure comes most often near completion. Be as careful at the end as the beginning.
85. One who is one with the Tao acts without acting. One who is less with the Tao acts with purpose. The greatest self is not self conscious. The lesser self is always aware of itself. The greatest integrity is spontaneous. The lesser integrity is deliberate. The greatest virtue is unaware of virtue. The lesser virtue never loses sight of virtue.
86. To know others is knowledge. To know Self is wisdom. To control others shows power. To control Self is to be truly powerful. To know when you have enough is to be rich. To know when to act is to act appropriately. To know when to hold your place is to endure.
87. You cannot get too close to the Tao. You cannot shun the Tao. You can not help the Tao. You cannot harm the Tao. You can not ennoble the Tao. You can not debase the Tao. The Tao is the noblest thing under heaven.
88. The best leader is invisible. The next best is loved and praised. The next is feared. The worst is ridiculed.
89. The best warrior is not warlike. The best fighter is not aggressive. The best commander avoids combat. The best ruler serves the people.
90. Ruling a large state is like frying a small fish. Cook it too much and you ruin it. Poke at it too much and it falls apart.
91. When government is weak and invisible, people are open and honest. When government is powerful and interfering, people are secretive and devious.
92. Too many taxes and the people starve. Too many rules and regulations and the people chafe and fret. When there is too much reward for success or too little room for succeeding, people will compete desperately. When goods are priced too high or wages too low, people will steal. When they are constantly shown good things they cannot have, people will rebel.
93. When mansions are kept very clean, and rich people wear fine clothes, and carry sharp swords, and gorge themselves on expensive foods, and have luxurious possessions while the fields of the poor are full of weeds, and in the villages, the ganaries are empty this is thievery! This is not the Way!
94. When the Way is lost, there is virtue. When virtue is lost there is humanity. When humanity is lost there is righteousness. When righteousness is lost, there is propriety. Propriety is the beginning of chaos. When people do not respond, it rolls up its sleeves and uses force.
95. Killing people in place of the master executioner is like cutting wood in place of the head carpenter. Cut wood in place of the head carpenter, and you are likely to cut your own hands.
96. When a nation loses the Way, weapons abound, and warhorses are stabled in the suburbs.
97. Weapons are instruments of ill omen. They should never be made into things of beauty. To worship weapons is to glorify in killing.
98. Do not deal in violence. Violence rebounds. Do not glorify in war. Use weapons only when there is no other choice. After war the famines come. Where armies go, thorns and brambles grow.
99. The world is a sacred vessel. You cannot improve it. Act on it to improve it and you ruin it. Try to control it and you come to ruin.
100. The Way of Heaven is like the flexing of a bow. The high is drawn down. The low is brought up. When the string is pulled, all the parts move.
101. You do not need to leave home in order to see the world. You do not have to look out your window in order to find the way. The harder you search the less you find. The farther you go the less you see.
102. See without looking, find without searching, and arrive without going anywhere.
103. Build your foundation upon it. What is firmly founded cannot be torn down. Embrace it. What is embraced tightly will be held. Cultivate it in yourself. Nurture it in your family. Practice it in your city. Express it in your state. Spread it throughout the universe. Let it overflow.
104. Square without corners, vessel without walls, soundless tone, formless image that is the shape of the Tao. Accept, allow, adapt, flex, bend, change that is the method of the Tao. Create, complete, fulfill, reverse, return, renew that is the movement of the Tao.
105. Every particular thing is a manifestation of the Tao. The Tao gives rise to all things. The Tao fulfills them. To the Tao they return. That is why everything venerates the Tao. That is why we find the Tao when we look inside ourselves.
106. There is a time for living and a time for dying, a time for planting and a time for reaping, a time for motion and a time for stillness, a time for working and a time for rest.
107. The Tao gives birth to all things, nourishes them, shelters them, cares for them, comforts them, and in the end, receives them back into itself.

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© Copyright 2018 by Kenneth Tucker.